JIS News

Some $11 million has been allocated to the Capacity Building in Competition Policy project, which seeks to enhance competition in the Jamaican economy by strengthening the capacity of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC).
This is contained in the 2006/2007 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the Houses of Representative.The project, which began in April 2005 and is slated to end in March of 2008, will also effectively enhance competition policy as well as better inform economic actors about the criteria and importance of competitive markets.
Listed among the achievements as of December 2005 are the establishment of the Project Steering Committee (PSC) and Project Management Unit (PMU) as well as the signing of a project financing agreement.
Under component one, accomplishments include the attendance of the FTC staff at specialized international courses in Competition Law and Intellectual Property; in house seminars conducted to allow other members of staff to benefit from the information acquired; and the recruitment of an international competition adviser, which is in progress.
Under component two, which is the outreach aspect, the annual Shirley Playfair forum was held on September 8, 2005. The forum is one of the public education events aimed at educating the general public about competition policy and its potential benefit to the community at large.
The anticipated physical targets for this year include the procurement and use of upgraded project accounting software, under the Project Management aspect of the project. In regards to component one, it is expected that technical assistance and training in competition policy will be provided as well as technical assistance and training in networking. There will also be establishment and upgrading of network services as well as the preparation of a training manual.
Under component two, a communication strategy is to be implemented, inclusive of publications in the newspapers and annual newsletters as well as seminars for judges; convening of the 2006 session of the Shirley Playfair lecture on Fair Trading Competition; upgrading of the FTC’s website; procurement and installation of telecommunication facilities and the upgrading of database to be used for recording and management of cases related to Fair Trading.
The project, which was initially estimated to cost $8.309 million and was later revised to $29.117 million, is funded by the Multi-lateral Investment Fund (MIF) and is being implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Science, Technology and Energy.